Going to Orlando is an amazing holiday, but it can also be very expensive, here are a few tips to help especially if you are staying on International Drive.
Everywhere you go on International Drive, you will be given leaflets and books of vouchers with money off deals for restaurants, attractions and activities. They are in hotel receptions, on the iTrolly, there are people walking around giving them out. You will soon find out that a lot of the voucher books have the same offers in them but differs by one or two deals. The restaurant deals could be children eating for free, free drinks, 2 eating for the price of 1, one of your courses is free, money off the whole bill or money off.
You will find these dotted around and are brilliant to make sure everyone eats their fill. There is a great one that we went to for breakfast called Black Angus Steakhouse. They do an all-you-eat breakfast for $4.99 if you pick up a leaflet and there is loads of food to choose from so we would fill up on breakfast and not worry too much about eating again until the evening. We went to a great one called Ichiban Buffet that had so much food to offer that it would take us 10 minutes just to walk around to see what we fancied eating.
Book online and in advance
I love doing this as it means that I don’t have to worry about paying for attractions while I’m on holiday as it is all done in advance. You can get some really great deals on the attraction websites for booking in advance like early bird tickets and group tickets. A brilliant website that we used for our trip to Miami was Orlando Ticket Deals, I honestly can not recommend them enough. For £341 we got transportation which was a minibus that had WiFi, air-con and comfy seat. Overnight stay in hotel a block away from the beach and everglade fan boat ride for both of us. This also included swimming with dolphins but I did that on my own, my husband was with me but stood at the side. We were picked up early Wednesday morning, on the way to Miami we had our everglade boat ride which also included a zoo were we got to hold baby alligators. When we got to Miami, we were dropped off at the Bayside Marketplace for a few hours to do some shopping before being picked up again to be taken to the hotel and we could do what we wanted for the evening. Early on Thursday morning we got picked up to go to Key Largo for the dolphin swim, which was AMAZING!! Something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child. We then went back to Miami for a few hours before being picked up again and taken back to Orlando. We definitely got a good deal.
We went to Walmart and Walgreens during our stay and saved a fortune as we were lucky enough to have a hotel room with a fridge, microwave and kettle. We bulk bought bottles of water, snacks, microwave meals, noodle pots and sandwich bits. We got a pack of 24 bottles of water for $4 from Walmart which was more than enough for the both of us, we saw the same bottles in a shop being sold indevidually for $1.50 so technically we saved $32 just on bottles of water. You can get packs of cereal bars very cheap which is great if you have kids. We got boxes of cereal for $1 and $2, big cartons of milk are quite cheap as well so breakfast was sorted. The noodle pots ranged from 50 cents to $1 depending on the size of the noodle pot as some of them could be quite big. To get a few loafs of bread, ham, cheese and some mayo only came to about $6 so we could make our own sandwiches for lunches to take out with us for a few days to save some more money.
Although they are great for convenience, they can also be quite expensive. This is why it’s best to go to a proper supermarket to buy food and only go into the hotel supermarket for anything that is desperately needed.
You don’t have to eat out every night
If you are out all day at a theme park and don’t get back to your hotel until late, you aren’t always going to feel like going out for something to eat so microwave meals and noodle pots will be a god send.
Before buying any souvenirs at the theme parks, go to one of the many souvenir shops that you will find along International Drive. We got a lot of souvenirs for a fraction of the price in one of the shops compared to what we would have paid in the theme park. I got an official Disney 2016 baseball for $4 compared to $15 in the park. I also got a lot of Harry Potter key-rings and toys for a few dollars compared to $10 and upwards if I had got them at the park. They also do a lot of official t-shirts so everything is covered.
Unlike malls, the outlet centers are where the big shops send their out of season or over ordered stock to be sold in sales. You will find a store for all the big shops like Nike, Reebok, Calvin Klein and loads more but everything is at a discount. I went to the Conserve shop and for any pair on Converses I brought, I could get a second pair with 45% off. If you sign up to their mailing list on their website, you can also get money off vouchers.
I hope my little tips help you, keep an eye out for more blog posts
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